When the Catholic Church accepted the rule of democracy, freedom of conscience and the scientific study of the Bible with the methods of literary criticism, some thought that it would open a can of worms. However, it made the Church more credible and able to thrive in the modern world.
The Church in France, attacked during the French Revolution, was released from its ties with the monarchy and property, and it grew spiritually. The same will happen in the present-day crisis regarding sexual abuse by priests if the Church does what it has always done: be true to her mission of upholding human dignity and search for the truth. And like Jesus said, whoever loves the truth is not afraid of the light.
We should keep in mind that sexual abuse occurs in all types of organisations and religions, and cover-ups take place everywhere. So when I see so much focus on the Catholic Church only, I conclude that there is an agenda, especially in the US, to weaken the influence of the Church in that country.
Also, is it acceptable to judge, with present-day perceptions, how the Church leaders dealt with sexual offenders in the 1970s when the attitude then and how it was dealt with was different? From what I read, the attitude started changing in the 1980s and 1990s.
Having said that, let us all practise what we preach and apply justice and fairness. Everyone should work against every form of abuse not only of children, but also of all vulnerable people. This includes the old, the sensitive and those who do not have a voice.
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